Bernd Knoll has been working as a developer at PULS for 25 years now. If you speak to him about his role as a mentor within the company, he can't stop himself from smiling. "I really enjoy working with the junior engineers. Isn't that right, Rainer?" he calls over to his younger colleague at the desk next to his, who also happens to be one of his mentees.
"It always gives everyone the chance to learn something new. As a matter of fact, Rainer here is currently in the process of teaching me a thing or two." They both burst out laughing. He clearly enjoys his mentoring job.
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The question of how many junior engineers he has already guided through their first few months at PULS provokes a furrowed brow, after which he gives us a rather vague answer: "There have been quite a few!" Knoll goes on to explain that inductions for new colleagues are always a team project.
In their first project PULS junior engineers work their way through the particular stages of development. There is a carefully thought-out induction schedule which includes a range of training sessions within the individual specialist departments. This includes tips and tricks for circuit design, measurement engineering, prototype production, product repairs, software and simulation tools, thermographic analysis, component training, and many more. This gives the junior developers the chance to get to know the various specialists, whilst getting a detailed introduction to the subject matter.
By giving the junior engineers the chance to work on collaborative projects with their more experienced colleagues, a great deal of knowledge and expertise can be passed on within a relatively short space of time. This scheme was introduced by Bernhard Erdl, founder, managing director and chief developer at PULS, who makes sure to regularly engage the junior engineers in discussions. For example, team meetings will soon turn into technical discussions that act as a source of inspiration for everyone involved.
When STEM graduates start off at PULS as junior developers, they are often raring to go, enthused at finally being able to put everything they have learnt into practice.
This is why it is so important to channel all their positive energy effectively and incorporate it into the development teams already in place to maximum effect. The mentoring programme is a huge help in this regard. In a video, Bernd Knoll reveals his approach to mentoring and explains why he enjoys the role so much.
The mentors' enthusiasm for PULS technology is infectious. "The aspects I enjoy most are developing new circuit designs and having the chance to try out new things," says Lukas Müller, who has been developing switch-mode power supplies for PULS since 2014. "Designing the circuit design for a power supply that is then installed thousands of times in huge production sites or on trains or ships is really something to be proud of."
The members of the PULS development team all share this passion for technology, and it is this that the mentoring programme aims to pass on and encourage.
This is the average number of years PULS employees in Germany stay with the company. It is quite an impressive figure actually, especially when you consider the fast-moving nature of the world of work these days.
Wandering through the corridors at PULS HQ as a new colleague, there is a real sense of the 'PULS spirit' throughout – the employees identify strongly with the company and its products. They take pride in the power supplies they have worked on, which they see as their own – and rightly so!
At every turn you come across employees with years of experience, hear fascinating stories about the history of the company and, of course, are wowed by some impressive technical expertise.